Commercial Vessel Compliance

1/20/2015: Environmental Protection Agency releases penalty policy for sulfur in fuel standard for ships

This is a courtesy blog post to share information for the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

On January 16, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a penalty policy for violations of the sulfur in fuel standard and related provisions for ships. This action reinforces the agency’s commitment to pursue violations of U.S. and international air pollution requirements by ships operating in the North American and U.S. Caribbean Sea Emissions Control Areas.

The policy applies to violations of new international standards for sulfur emissions from ships that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2015, and violations under the previous standards.

This policy is intended to deter potential violators, ensure that the EPA assesses fair and equitable penalties and allow for the swift resolution of claims arising from noncompliance. EPA is committed to enforcing marine emission standards to help prevent dangerous air pollution from harming public health in American communities.

“Air pollution from ships can have major impacts on air quality in American communities,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “EPA stands ready to protect these communities and the companies that play by the rules by working with the Coast Guard to enforce air emissions standards for ships operating in U.S. waters.”

The new policy can be found at:

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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